People celebrate Musikfest’s return to Bethlehem

Written by on August 6, 2021

People celebrate Musikfest’s return to Bethlehem

By Hayden Mitman

August 6, 2021

People gathered to watch a performance at the Levitt Pavilion at the Steelstacks campus on Aug 5, 2021. Photo | Hayden Mitman / WLVR

Steady crowds filtered through Bethlehem’s SteelStacks last night for preview night of Musikfest.

Listen to the story.

Musician Erin Kelly was the first to hit the stage with her band at the Americaplatz stage early Thursday evening. 

“We’re so excited to be here kicking off Musikfest’s preview night,” she told the crowd. 

After a pandemic-related hiatus, the sights and sounds of Musikfest returned to SouthSide Bethlehem and several hundred people came out for the evening. 

Artist Erin Kelly performs at the Levit Shell Stage at Steelstacks on August 5 2021.Photo | Hayden Mitman / WLVR

Mike Janders of Northampton says he’s been a fest regular for the past 30 years. He was excited for the return of what is said to be the largest free music festival in the country.

“I’m very excited Musikfest is back, It actually feels a little odd walking around down here that it’s going on, because it seems like forever,” he said.

During the evening, a well-spread out, mostly maskless, crowd meandered through SteelStacks, taking in preview night. 

The event got underway as Northampton County sees some of the highest community transmission rates of COVID-19 of any county in the state.

Yet, those out for Musikfest, like Mark Vogel of Bethlehem, said they felt safe.

“I’m a senior, I got my shots months ago. But, I think, if you got your shots, and you’re outside, I think you’re ok,” he said.

Heather Bailey traveled up to the festival from Kentucky.

“I feel like, enjoy yourself, it’s summer 2021. We missed out all last year, we should just all be able to have fun,” she said 

Musikfest runs through Aug. 15. There are no outdoor masking restrictions, but organizers say signs posted recommending people wear masks for indoor events. 

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